Snubbed Karin sings the blues

It is no secret that reigning Idols winner Karin Kortje had a strained relationship with record company Sony BMG, but excluding her completely from this year's final could be considered a little cruel.

Yet as South Africa prepares to crown its fourth Idol, Kortje, of Grabouw, has been excluded not only from Sunday night's final but from the guest list.

Lani Lombard of M-Net denied the decision was a snub. "In previous years we had the winner of the last season performing, but this year we changed the format," she said.

"We took a decision to create a really upbeat and vibrant show. Not that Karin would not been vibrant and upbeat."

Lombard added that last season's runner-up, Gift Gwe, plus Nicky de Lange, Kesha Charlton-Perkins and Deidré Visser from the group NKD, would perform.

"We decided that Gift and NKD have new CDs out and have become really popular. They just fit in with what we wanted to do with this year's final," she said.

Two years ago, Kortje won season three of Idols. A few months later, her former boyfriend was arrested on charges of robbery and murder. Kortje had returned to the Durbanville guesthouse, Le Petit Chateau, where they were staying, to find the owner, Renate Kellerman, dead.

Weekend Argus could not get hold of Kortje on Friday, but she said in an earlier interview that she was disappointed about not being invited to Sunday's event.

"They didn't even phone me to tell me. They just told my agent that they will not be using any Idols winners this year," she said.

Meanwhile, after a whirlwind tour of the country this week, Cape Town finalists Andriëtte Norman and Jody Williams are rehearsing for the most important concert of their lives.

Friday Andriëtte, 21, and Jody, 17, spent half the day in a studio recording a song written for them by Sony BMG.

Both girls have recorded the same song and the winner's version will be available for download immediately after Sunday night's final.

Weekend Argus caught up with the pair and asked them why they should win.

Jody replied: "I didn't think I would ever come this far in the competition. But now that I have, I am going to do everything I can to win. This is a big honour for me. I am not going to disappoint all the people who have voted for me thus far."

Andriëtte said: "I have never been so focused on my goal than I am right now.

"I have become so independent since I entered this competition. I am not going to be one of those Idols who fade away after the competition. I am going to make lots of CDs and keep my fans entertained. Win or lose, I am going to pack my bags and move to Jo'burg. My career is on its way."

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